Saturday, March 1, 2014

Who The Kingdom Belongs To

Today’s Bible readings are Leviticus 24:1-25:46, Mark 10:13-31, Psalm 44:9-26, & Proverbs 10:20-21

Mark 10:13-16
13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

Who is the Kingdom of God for? There is much talk & many opinions about this question. Many think that the kingdom of God is only for the “high & mighty” ones. Some people give the impression that others aren’t good enough yet to be a part of the kingdom of God. This sends a message to the multitudes that you have to have your life all cleaned up before you can have a share in God’s kingdom. This doesn’t help people find their way to Jesus; it pushes them away.

The problem is that this also goes against scripture. Jesus made it clear that we shouldn’t do anything to keep people away from Him who would come in true humility. It doesn’t matter to Him what your issues are. In fact, the only hope that you have to overcome your issues is to come to Him FIRST!!! Bring your issues with you & let Him set you free. Bring it to the cross & give it to Jesus. The only way to find victory over sin & the flesh is to come to Jesus with it.

Galatians 5:16

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

The only way to withstand the desires of the flesh is to WALK IN THE SPIRIT. The only way to walk by the Spirit is to COME TO JESUS JUST AS YOU ARE. Many churches & most Christians have it backwards. They try to tell people that they need to get all the sin out of their lives so God will accept them. This is not accurate. The ONLY way to deal with the sin & the flesh is by the Spirit. Once we connect ourselves to Christ & receive His Spirit then, & only then, do we find the power & ability to live in victory.

Who is the kingdom of God for then?

1.      Smokers

2.      Alcoholics

3.      Drug addicts

4.      Divorced people

5.      Women who have had abortions

6.      Men who struggle with pornography

7.      Poor people

8.      Good people

9.      Crazy people

10.   Wealthy people

Bottom line is this:

Revelation 22:17

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Jesus & His Spirit is saying, “Come!” Come as you are. Lay your burden down. Find peace & rest. This is the answer.

Let’s make sure that we don’t make the same mistake that the disciples made. They thought they were doing Jesus a favor but we see that He was not happy with the way they handled it. He came to save & bless any who would come to Him in humility. Let’s make sure that these are the only requirements that we have of people also. Getting them to Jesus is the only way for them to ever find transformation. Things will change but only after He has touched them.

In closing, don’t ever let your issues keep you away for Jesus. Also, don’t ever send the message to others that their issues will keep them away from Jesus. Bring them to the cross & let Him transform them & you by His great power.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, February 28, 2014

Only You Can Prevent A Forest Fire

Today’s Bible readings are Leviticus 22:17-23:44, Mark 9:30-10:12, Psalm 44:1-8, & Proverbs 10:19

Proverbs 10:19
19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

What a great lesson to learn. I love the book or Proverbs because of the wisdom that it brings to us. These great truths must be restored in our lives.

We live in a culture where there is a lot of talking going on all the time. We are the most connected people in the history of creation. If you are upset you can tell the world about it though one of the many social media outlets. If you are bored, you can chat online with people that you have never met. If talking isn’t your thing, you can text.

It is interesting to me the amount of talking that goes on. There is rarely a silent moment in life. I know people who have talked about the same problems in their lives as long as I have known them. That is all they do. They talk but NEVER take action.

Let’s look at a few other verses in the Bible on this matter.


Proverbs 17:28

28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.


Proverbs 29:20

20 There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.


Proverbs 18:2

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.



Proverbs 21:23

23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.


Proverbs 14:23

23 Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!


Proverbs 13:3

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.

I had a lady share the greatest revelation with me on this topic just a few weeks back—HERE IT IS:

“God gave you 2 ears & 1 mouth so you could listen more than you talk.”

None can say it better than God in His word:


James 1:19

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

I challenge you to be slow to speak. Our tongue can set a fire that can burn everything in its course. Let’s do our best to never start a forest fire.

James 3:6

And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where The Tough Go When Things Get Tough

Today’s Bible readings are Leviticus 20:22-22:16, Mark 9:1-29, Psalm 43:1-5, & Proverbs 10:18

Psalm 43:1-3
Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars. For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.

Has there ever been a time in your life when your enemies were coming down on you on all sides? Have you ever had a time were people that you thought were your friends began to talk about you & say things that weren’t true in an attempt to destroy you?

I have. There have been times in my life where people turned on me. I remember one time there was this fellow; who I thought was a friend of mine, who turned on me in a moment’s time. He started to run around & tell other people all sorts of things trying to gather as many to his side as he possibly could. He was very upset because I didn’t agree with him on some issues. He wanted me to do things his way, & of course I couldn’t do that. The moment that he realized he wasn’t going to get his way, he turned into a different person. He started to call people up in an attempt to get them mad too. It was a difficult season for a minute. I remember crying out to God for His help & justice. I felt isolated at times. I was hurt. I couldn’t figure out why it was happening.

Times like this can really be a challenge for us. This is really a pretty mild example compared to what some people go through. There have been some who have suffered great injustice. When these things are happening it can leave us feeling:

1.      Confused

2.      Alone

3.      Angry

4.      What did I do to deserve this?

5.      Why isn’t God defending me?

This is what the David was going through in his life when he penned this psalm. He was running for his life from his son, Absalom. His son was leading a political coupe against him. He was hiding for his life in the caves & the wilderness once again, only this time it was his own son who was hunting him.

His heart must have been filled with pain. He must have been very confused. There had to be many questions flying through his mind at that time. We see many of those thoughts come out as he writes these psalms. Yet, we also see that he is always brought back to the same place:


Psalm 43:3-4

Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!

David knew that what he really needed was a moment with God. He knew that if he could get away from all of the emotion & be led by God’s Spirit that he would find rest. That is why he called out for light & truth to lead him. He knew that his emotions would only get him into more trouble. They would not lead him in the right direction. He also knew that light & truth would lead him into God’s presence where he would find joy, strength, & peace.

Notice how David’s attitude changed once light & truth came to guide him:


Psalm 43:5

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

What a shift in attitude. All of this came because David chose to run into the presence of God. I want to encourage you today to spend some time in God’s presence. I want to remind that when the going gets tough, THE TOUGH RUN INTO HIS PRESENCE!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How To See Clearly

Today’s Bible readings are Leviticus 19:1-20:21, Mark 8:11-38, Psalm42:1-11, & Proverbs 10:17

Mark 8:22-25
22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”
24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly.

This is such an amazing testimony of how Jesus works. Every time that I read this story it still grabs my heart. Thank God for friends who bring friends to Jesus. This man’s life was forever changed because somebody cared enough to bring him to Jesus.

Yet, the first thing that we notice in this event is that Jesus immediately took the man into a private place. He grabbed him by the hand & began to talk to him privately. Jesus wanted to have an intimate moment with this man. There was a reason for this.

Many times, the people around us may be the biggest hurdle in the way of our miracle. Even though the people closest to us care for us, they can be a hindrance too. The things that they say to us, the ideas that they try to share with us to comfort us, the plans that they device to help us, these can all cloud our mind. Maybe they try to convince us that things are going to happen a certain way. Maybe they mean well but are not well informed themselves. Maybe the information that they have is inaccurate or incomplete.

I believe that could have been the case with this man. As Jesus grabbed him by the hand, He started to tell him the things that He wanted the blind man to know. Jesus started to share with Him the accurate truth. He intentionally led the blind man away from everybody & everything. Some would say that it was because Jesus needed to get him away from the doubters. I don’t necessarily agree with that idea. The blind man’s friends must have believed because they brought him to Jesus. There must have been something else that was in the way.

As Jesus finally got away from the crowd with this one man, He did the most unorthodoxed method of healing that I have ever seen. He literally spit in the man’s face. This is bizarre. It could have been offensive. It is definitely not your traditional method to pray for someone. BUT IT WORKED!!! It was the method that Jesus chose to use to begin to bring freedom & deliverance to this man. This is very important for us to see.

Some people tell others that their faith is weak if:

1.      Take medicine

2.      Go to the doctor

3.      See a counsellor

4.      Have a surgery

5.      Join a support group

I say that they are uninformed & inaccurate at best. These things DO NOT show a lack of faith. It was not a lack of faith that Jesus displayed by spitting on the man’s eyes. It was just the method that He chose to start the process.

What would have happened if the man would have stomped his feet & said, “No sir, Jesus. I will not let you do any such things. I am a man of faith. I’m going to trust God for a miracle.”  That is absurd to think that way, yet many people do. Jesus wanted to start a process to bring healing to the man & this was the first step toward the bind man’s healing.

God can, & often does, use medicine to start a process of healing in a person’s life. God can, & often does, use other means as a STARTING POINT to bring about His plans for us. It is not a lack of faith. It is simply God choosing to meet us where we are at.

After Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes He asked him:
23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”
24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”

Praise The Lord! The miracle had started. It didn’t happen the way that it did in other instances. It wasn’t by a simple word. It wasn’t done the same way that it was for Bartimaeus, BUT IT WAS STARTING TO HAPPEN!!!

What a moment it must have been in this man’s life. For the first time he could see, even though it was still cloudy. It was coming. Relief was on it’s way. This was a great encouragement to this blind man. It didn’t rob his miracle, it positioned him to receive his completed miracle!

After this first step, Jesus then touched the man again & his eyes were open. He could see clearly for the first time in his life. Now who am I to tell this man to refuse to let Jesus spit in his face? Who am I to tell this man that the only way for him to get healed is to trust in Jesus alone.  Who am I to tell somebody that they aren’t in faith if they take a pill or a treatment? Maybe that is the reason that Jesus had to get the man away from the crowd.

I want to encourage you today. If you are taking medicine believe that God is going to work a miracle in your life through it. It is not a lack of a faith on your part. If you have a mental illness & you are on medication, God will work through it if you put your faith in Him. If you are in counseling, it doesn't mean that you are in doubt. This may be the first step toward your miracle. Don’t feel like you have no faith because you are on medicine. Take the medicine in faith just like the blind man took the spit in faith.   

Pastor Richard Schlotter